Category: Meanings of Baby Names
Usually, when baby names are related, the resemblance is pretty obvious. For example, Christopher’s foreign versions include Christophe and Christos and his short form is Chris; Patricia is otherwise known as Patrizia or Patrice, Pat or Patty.
This can come in handy if you’re looking for an invisible (to non-nerds) or at least indirect route to honoring a namesake. Ways you can do this include finding an interesting but accessible international variation, or an unexpected nickname that can be used on its own, or a mythological, biblical, or other name switch, or dual identity.
I was looking this morning through the list of baby names that have entered the US Top 1000 since the turn of the decade — more, much more, on that later — and I was struck by how many of them overstate the case.
In early editions of our first book Beyond Jennifer & Jason, we included a list called Names That Are Too Much, or Not Enough, To Live Up To. Then somewhere along the way, we dropped it. But clearly it’s time to bring it back.
It’s easy to look up the meaning of a name.
It is much tougher to nail down associations. The name Cecilia means blind, but my first thought is the Simon & Garfunkel song. Caleb means dog, but all of the Calebs I’ve known have been cute little boys.
If meanings rarely change, associations are always shifting. We forget a book or a movie, or a song falls out of fashion. Bridget was once a generic term for a maid, but today it is a perfectly acceptable name for a daughter.
This week’s nine most newsworthy baby names all have strong positive associations, though none of them are in the US Top Ten – yet.